Video: FGM TV News - 12/10/2002
- Falun Gong is freely practiced in more than 50 countries, but relentlessly persecuted in China.
- The peaceful courage of practitioners there has shocked their oppressors and moved the people of the world.
- While China continues to block information about the persecution, FGM TV brings you the stories you may not hear anywhere else.
Hello, and welcome to the FGM TV weekly news review on December 10, 2002
I'm David Tompkins
In this week's update from China...
- The number of Falun Gong practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 521, with details of three more confirmed deaths received in the past week. Reliable sources inside China, however, put the actual death count in the thousands.
- In the last 7 days, reports of persecution have come in from 11 provinces and from the city of Beijing.
- 311 people declared as void all statements they had made under torture and at times when their minds were not clear. They said they intend to continue to practice Falun Gong.
Our top story this week:
- Hong Kong is given a warning by an international human rights expert, over it's proposed anti-subversion laws
And some of our other stories:
- A Second Criminal Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Falun Gong Practitioners in Front of the Chicago Chinese Consulate
- Details of fifteen more deaths in custody of Chinese officials have been released by the Falun Dafa Information Center in New York
- Practitioners are tortured at a trial in Changchun
- Christine Loftus interviews Sterling Campbell, a drummer for David Bowie
- Citizens of Monaco are introduced to Falun Gong.
- Voices of support from the members of the Czech Republic and Finnish parliaments.
- Agence France Presse reported on December 4th, that an international human rights expert warned Hong Kong Wednesday that proposed anti-subversion laws threaten individual freedoms.
- Dr. Frances D'Souza helped devise the Johannesburg Principles, which are regarded as the standard for the protection of freedoms in the context of national security laws. She expressed three main concerns about the controversial legislation.
- "There is no question that this proposed legislation threatens individual liberties in a profound and sustained way," Dr. D'Souza told reporters. "That cannot but have a highly detrimental effect on Hong Kong as a society. "
- Her second concern she said was that, "if you have a law on the statute books which is repressive, even though it is not used, the fact that it exists in the statute book exercises a chilling effect on the free flow of information.
- She also warned that, "once you institute a law like this... little freedoms are restricted here and there and it is the beginning of something much bigger."
- Under Article 23 of the Basic Law, the territory's mini-constitution, Hong Kong is obliged to pass laws banning treason, sedition, subversion and theft of state secrets.
- Human-rights and pro-democracy groups fear that China could use the new law to suppress freedoms including those of media, speech and religion, as well as to ban groups such as Falun Gong.
- The government has issued only a vague outline of the laws so far and many groups, as well as the United States, have urged the territory to release a white paper providing all the details.
- The exact wording of the legislation is due to be created after the three-month public consultation exercise ends December 24, and it is scheduled to be enacted in the summer of 2003 without any further public consultation.
- On November 19th FGMTV brought you the story of Zheng Jiming who plead guilty in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago on November 13 to assaulting a Falun Gong practitioner in front of Chicago's Chinese Consulate. On December 5, 2002, Weng Yujun, a second criminal involved in the assault also plead guilty. He was sentenced to one and a half years of probation.
- Police arrested him early in the morning of November 5th outside the offices of the former Chen Pao, a pro-Chinese ruling Party newspaper.
- A year earlier, in September 2001, as Chicago Falun Gong practitioners were conducting a peaceful relay hunger strike appeal, Mr. Fang Li, a local practitioner was assaulted by Zheng Jiming, Weng Yujun and another person. Zheng and Weng beat Mr. Lin, who had taken a picture of the men as they were acting in a lewd and indecent manner to insult a female practitioner.
- After the assault they further threatened practitioners, saying, "If you report this, I will kill you."
- Reporting from Beijing, Agence Free Presse quoted the Falun Dafa Information Center in New York as having released details of the deaths of fifteen more Falun Gong practitioners.
- Reporters from AFP contacted police at several detention centers where the practitioners had been detained. Most refused to comment, saying only: "I'm not clear about this."
- However, a police officer at the Mishan City Detention Center in northern Heilongjiang province confirmed to AFP that one of its Falun Gong inmates had died "at a hospital."
- When asked why she died, he said: "I don't know."
- The FDI statement mentioned that 43-year old Ms. Guiying Liu, had been detained in March for openly telling the facts of the persecution against Falun Gong to others.
- After her capture, police tried to transfer her to the notorious Wanjia Labor Camp, but the camp turned her away because she showed symptoms of hypertension. Liu was instead transported back to the detention center where she died in police custody on October 24.
- Authorities secretly cremated her body two days later.
- Mr. Li Hongwei, died on October 7 at a detention center in northern China's Liaoning province, and family members said his corpse was covered with injuries from torture by electric shock.
- Sixty-year-old Ms. Gai Liu, from central China's Henan province, was arrested in September and two nights later she was sent to the hospital where she died shortly afterwards.
- Police reports claim that the cause of death was related to disease, but Liu's relatives found a deep knife wound on her wrist.
- Ms. Fenghua Li, a 44 year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Heilongjiang province was taken into custody and sent to a labor camp for one year where she endured severe brainwashing and later fell into a coma. She never awakened and passed away on November 8.
- Li's relatives presented her case to the local court of law, but they refused to accept any cases related to Falun Gong.
- Ms. Ruizhu Kang was detained and taken to a brainwashing class last year where she was handcuffed to a tree for one week. She later managed to escape but was again detained in October and went on a hunger strike to protest her illegal detention.
- On October 27, 2002, police and local officials advised that Kang had died. Police secretly cremated her on the same day, and her ashes were kept in the crematorium.
- The above were details of some of the thousands of practitioners who have died since Jiang Zemin ordered the brutal crackdown against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Deaths in labor camps occur, either from excessive forced labor, torture and abuse, lack of adequate nutrition and medical attention, or a combination of factors.
- The causes of these deaths are routinely concealed and deceptively labeled as due to "natural causes" in an attempt by officials to escape responsibility for murder.
- Practitioners arrested for interrupting TV programs in Changchun are tortured in the Courthouse during their show trial.
- An eyewitness account has been received stating that during their trial sessions on September 18 and 19, the practitioners arrested for interrupting Changchun TV programs with Falun Dafa truth clarifying information, were not allowed to defend themselves or their practice in court.
- As soon as any one of them attempted to explain the facts of the persecution, they were taken out of the courtroom and tortured. Some practitioners were beaten four or five times during the sessions. After the court adjourned, each one of the practitioners was taken to a different room and beaten with electric batons by seven or eight policemen. Two were injured so badly, one having been shot in the leg by a policeman, that they had to be carried back to their cells at the detention center.
- Christine Loftus interviewed Sterling Campbell at a recent Falun Dafa experience sharing conference in Philedelphia. Sterling, a long time drummer for David Bowie and former member of Duran Duran and Soul Asylum, traveled to China last February to appeal for the persecuted Falun Gong practitioners on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. He had this to say:
- Thank you Christine, and thank you Sterling.
- The beautiful country of Monaco with its population of little more than 29,000 rests on the shore of the blue Mediterranean Sea, protected by France on its other three sides.
- Dafa practitioners discovered that the head of the 610 Office in Shanghai, Mr. Lanqing Li, would visit Monaco to attend a conference on December 2 and 3. At the end of November, practitioners from Switzerland, Italy, Germany and France travelled to Monte Carlo. They demonstrated the exercises at the central harbor, introduced Falun Dafa to the passersby, and held a peaceful appeal in front of the Chinese Embassy.
- The largest local newspaper and other media outlets published positive reports, and the following day, many people expressed their understanding of Falun Gong to the practitioners.
- Two significant letters of support were received recently from European members of parliament.
- Mr. Jan Ruml, Vice Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, sent greetings to European Falun Dafa practitioners gathered in Prague during the NATO meeting in late November.
- "Today's world needs us to continually point out the injustice that is taking place," wrote Mr. Ruml, "Even if it is on the other side of the world and against one single person. It is even more necessary to focus attention on crimes committed against whole communities, whether they are national, political or spiritual and religious. "
- And the Labor Minister of Finland, Ms. Tarja Filatov wrote:
- "The reports of systematic torture, rape, murder and humiliation of female Falun Gong practitioners, are shocking to read. To be a high-standard member accepted by the international community, every country, including China, has to respect the human rights of its citizens and also has to specifically protect women, who are in a weaker position."
- The Fulton Public Library in Atlanta held and opening ceremony in the first week of December for the "Peaceful Journey of Falun Dafa Photo Exhibition" which will be held there throughout December and January.
- Mary Cook, the manager of the library and a Falun Gong practitioner, said "The only purpose of this event is to show people that Falun Dafa is good, and that the persecution in China is evil."
- Mayor Shirley Franklin presented an award on behalf of all people of Atlanta to Teacher Li Hongzhi, praising him for founding Falun Gong. The award also congratulates practitioners for their contribution to the community.
- Two Georgia Congressmen, John Lewis and John Linder, sent congratulatory letters.
- Falun Gong practitioners performed a traditional Chinese fan dance, and they sang songs that had been composed by practitioners.
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